An animal rights group has announced that they will have investigators on the ground here on Guam to document illegal cockfighting.
Animal Wellness Action is the same organization that is offering a $2,500 reward for any information leading to the conviction of anyone engaged in cockfighting which became illegal under a federal law that took effect today.
The owner of “The Dome” in Dededo has said that fighting will cease there. The governor has also said villages should not apply for permission to host cockfights at the festival, proving progress in winding down cockfighting activities on the island has been made.
The impact of the ban is also having an effect on local businesses. Rick Davo, from Agat, has owned and operated his feed store since 1973 and worries sales will suffer, not to mention losing what he calls the only recreation of the people.
“If you have cockfights, people won’t go to the city to make trouble, they’ll go to the village to watch cockfights,” Davo said.
Davo said that he sells on average 800 sacks a month of feed at $27 a piece. But with the new law, Davo says he’ll be lucky to sell 500.
He will also have to dispose of implements such as knife sheaths, cockfighting leg bands, and wooden carrying cases, which helps his overall profits.
Generations of Guamanians have taken part in cockfighting and now, it’s all over. However, a release from the Guam Department of Agriculture states “there is nothing unlawful about owning brood fowl or poultry previously used in cockfighting” and “there is no rush for the owners of those birds to dispose of them.
In related news, Guam District Court Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan has recommended that Sedfrey Linsangan’s request for an injunction against the cockfighting ban be denied.
Linsangan argued that the cockfighting ban is unconstitutional and violates the organic act.
However, Judge Manibusan ruled that Linsangan was not able to prove that the ban was discriminatory, nor did he cite any authority to support his claim that the ban would violate his right to life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.